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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A vastly important manifesto on high-tech product design


Why are ATMs, video recorders, personal computer software, and even vehicle keyless entry systems so hard to operate properly? Must high technology, by its nature, make us feel stupid -- when we're not and it is?
Alan Cooper, the inventor of Visual Basic (I don't hold it against him), answers the last question with a table-slamming "No!" He argues, with a snarky sense of persuasive humour, that technology CAN be both powerful and easy to use, but that the current system where programmers run the software development process sabotages any hope of true user-centred interaction design.
Like movies, Cooper writes, software should have a long pre-production and design phase, and only a short, intense programming phase -- decidedly the opposite of the current approach. Doing so makes software cheaper and more efficient to make, and better for real people to use. Products made that way are almost bound to beat their competitors.
Anyone involved in high-tech product design of any sort must read this book. Really. It changed my outlook on how software and hardware should be built -- and significantly lowered my tolerace for products that frustrate and confound me.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective Java Programming Language Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Joshua Bloch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Must buy for serious developers


This book is for those who already program in Java and want to refine their practices. It really forces you to think about how you approached a problem, and if perhaps there is a better way. For example, I had never thought of a constants class with a private constructor instead of using an interface of constants (which is horrible programming practice, but I could not think of a suitable work around - that is until I picked up this book).



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference for SVR4 and Solaris 7 (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Arnold Robbins
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
It's a dictionary for UNIX


Don't buy it: 1. If you don't need to know Unix. 2. If you don't have questions working with Unix :-) 3. If you have perfect memory and remember all Unix commands. Very useful as a reference book. It is a sort of a dictionary in The Unix World, but remember it is a reference book, not a text book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Rod Johnson, Juergen Hoeller
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Repeated materials? Nope


It seems unfair to me that Peter rated this book one star.I doubt whether he has read the book other than the short TOC.
I would rate this sequel book 4.5 stars, since the sample application is not interesting, in particular it use iBATIS in lieu of Hibernate -- see Dion Almear's review on http://www.theserverside.com/articles/content/J2EEWithoutEJB_BookReview/article.htmlLike the reviewer, I particularly enjoyed the short but informative and insightful chapter on AOP (Chapter 8).